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Effect of species, breed and route of virus inoculation on the pathogenicity of H5N1 highly pathogenic influenza (HPAI) viruses in domestic ducks

Mary Pantin-Jackwood, David E. Swayne, Eric Shepherd
Veterinary research 2013 v.44 no.62 pp. 1-11
Anas platyrhynchos, Cairina moschata, Khaki Campbell, Pekin, avian influenza, control methods, ducks, exposure pathways, virulence, viruses
H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses continue to be a threat to poultry in many regions of the world. Domestic ducks have been recognized as one of the primary factors in the spread of H5N1 HPAI. In this study we examined the pathogenicity of H5N1 HPAI viruses in different species and breeds of domestic ducks and the effect of route of virus inoculation on the outcome of infection. We determined that the pathogenicity of H5N1 HPAI viruses varies between the two common farmed duck species, with Muscovy ducks (Cairina moschata) presenting more severe disease than various breeds of Anas platyrhynchos var. domestica ducks including Pekin, Mallard-type, Black Runners, Rouen, and Khaki Campbell ducks. We also found that Pekin and Muscovy ducks inoculated with two H5N1 HPAI viruses of different virulence, given by any one of three routes (intranasal, intracloacal, or intraocular), became infected with the viruses. Regardless of the route of inoculation, the outcome of infection was similar for each species but depended on the virulence of the virus used. Muscovy ducks showed more severe clinical signs and higher mortality than the Pekin ducks. In conclusion, domestic ducks are susceptible to H5N1 HPAI virus infection by different routes of exposure, but the presentation of the disease varied by virus strain and duck species. This information helps support the planning and implementation of H5N1 HPAI surveillance and control measures in countries with large domestic duck populations.